How To Live Frugally With Credit Card Debt As A College Student – Guest Post
College can be an extremely exciting time for most students. It’s their first time away from home, and they’re anxious to get to their new classes and discover everything that life has in store for them. Unfortunately, one of the most common things that life has in store for them are brand-new credit cards. A lot of people might be surprised, but credit card companies actually love college students. The reason why they love college students is because for one thing, college students are 18 years of age.
When a person applies for a credit card, they have to be 18, because then they can be responsible for a credit card contract. A new college student is not only 18, but they have no debt. By the same token, a college student has a ton of things that they need to buy, and that they need to buy right away. For example, they need to buy a books, pencils, pens, and computer supplies.
Then again, there are always those unexpected expenses such as parking fees and lab fees. Or sometimes they might find themselves short of money when they want to get something to eat, or when they need personal supplies or groceries. Guess what? All of these can be purchased on a bright shiny new credit card!
When one thinks about all of the expenses that are expected and unexpected for a college student, it’s no wonder that credit card companies absolutely salivate when they see a new college student.
The one thing that college students have going for them is that they have no credit history. The thing that they have working against them, however, is that they don’t have the life experience and know-how to manage credit card debt. As such, they see credit cards as free money. All they have to do is use the card wherever they want to go, and get whatever they want. They don’t have to pay for it right then and there like they would with cash.
Yes, the college student understands that these are debts that need to be paid for, but that’s not what’s in the front of their minds. The thing that is on their mind is get what I need now, or get what I want now, and I’ll pay for it later.
Unfortunately, later usually doesn’t come. College students aren’t the wealthiest people, and they will find that despite their good intentions, they simply don’t have the money to pay their bills. Meanwhile, credit card companies already know this about college students, yet they continue to offer them credit cards. Sadly, by the end of a college student’s first year, they can find themselves in trouble with credit card debt.
So, what is a college student to do that has two or three more years left of college, and yet finds themselves buried up to their eyeballs in credit card debt? How can they save money, or make the money that they have stretch so that they can meet their basic needs, and still manage their credit card debt? There are a variety of things that a college student can do to make sure that they are meeting their personal responsibilities.
One thing that they can do is look at any areas of spending that are unnecessary. For example, college students are notorious for eating out. This means pizza, restaurants, bars and pubs. If a college student finds that they can’t manage their credit card debt, then all of these outside expenses need to stop immediately.
This will be hard for them at first, because they want to hang out with their friends, or be able to buy whatever they want. However, if they put a stop to carousing, this teaches them a really great lesson about delayed gratification. The college student will have to learn to manage a food budget that gets spent in the cafeteria. Or they learn how to cook foods in their dorm rooms that will save them money. For example, it might not hurt the college student to eat sandwiches for lunch, and maybe something quick for breakfast that’s nutritious and inexpensive. When a college student stops eating out, they’ll save a ton of money.
Another way a college student can live frugally is to bring in more money. A college student will overcome their debt when they stop spending on the one hand, and start bringing in more money on the other. If they have time, they can take a part-time job that will help them manage the load of their debt and still manage to take on their personal responsibilities.
They can also do things such as keep their car parked for the most part. Buying gas costs money, and in order to live frugally, the college student can learn to walk when reasonable, or take a bike when walking is unreasonable. They can also start to rely upon public transportation, if there is a public transportation system in their town. These methods aren’t as convenient or comfortable as riding in a car, but they certainly save money.
If a college student finds that they have gotten in over their head with credit card debt, while they might feel overwhelmed by this, they should not let it get them down. The fact of the matter is that most college students are struggling financially, and this is part of the sacrifice of gaining a higher education. What keeps college students motivated and living for their goal is the fact that when they obtain their college degrees, they will be able to obtain a job that will sustain them well for the next part of their lives. For many students, it’s well worth it to live for their goal to obtain an education, and the career earning power that they will have when they graduate.
Author Bio: Hasic M loves to share his knowledge about credit cards, especially helping people attain credit card debt relief and make their lifes less stressful.